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Archive for the ‘U.S./North America’ Category

Chevy Escalates Truck Engine Wars with Four New Offerings

A new Duramax diesel coming in 2019.

by on May.19, 2018

The 2019 Silverado RST comes standard with an all-new, advanced 2.7-liter turbo engine active fuel management and stop/start technology.

Chevrolet is firing another round of salvos in the ongoing engine wars between the Big Three truck makers, debuting four new powerplants including a four-cylinder turbo, ultimately resulting in six new powertrain combinations.

The brand unveiled a 2.7-liter turbocharged four cylinder as well as two new V8s: a 5.3-liter and a 6.2-liter, both of which use Chevy’s active fuel management system. The system uses four, six or eight cylinders depending upon the demands on the engine. Push the pedal to the floor, the driver gets all eight, but if cruising along the freeway, it drops to four and improves fuel economy.

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The 2.7-liter will be the standard engine for the brand’s high-volume trucks, replacing a 4.3-liter V6, which remains available. A new 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel will also be available in 2019. EPA mileage ratings for the new engines are available yet. (more…)

In Final Move as FCA CEO, Marchionne Expected to Order Massive Shift in Product, Manufacturing Plans

Small Fiat models likely to be dropped, brand may leave U.S.

by on May.18, 2018

Could FCA pull the Fiat brand out of the U.S.?

As Fiat Chrysler Automobiles prepares for life beyond its founding chief executive, CEO Sergio Marchionne is expected to announce major shifts in the automaker’s product and manufacturing strategy, according to several reports.

During a June 1 meeting meant to reveal FCA’s next five-year plan, the 65-year-old executive reportedly will announce that the Fiat brand will abandon two of its base models, the Punto and Mito, while shifting emphasis to more up-market models. The automaker also will put more emphasis on its Jeep brand which, Marchionne said during the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, could help Fiat Chrysler double its earnings during the next five years.

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One of the key questions hanging over the Euro-American automaker may not be resolved during a meeting bringing together analysts and journalists from around the world: who will replace Marchionne as CEO? He has dropped hints that his successor will come from FCA’s current top management ranks, which means no women or outsiders are in the running.

(more…)

As Predicted, Ford Resumes F-150 Production in Michigan

Production at two other plants restarts on Monday.

by on May.18, 2018

The first Ford F-150 truck rolls off the line this morning at Dearborn Truck Plant, restarted after a fire at a supplier halted production.

As Ford Motor Co. officials said earlier this week it would, the company’s workers at its Dearborn, Michigan truck plant began sending F-150s down and off the line to would-be customers at 6 a.m. this morning.

The plant, along with a sister facility in Kansas City, Missouri, have been idle for the past week in the wake of a fire at Meridian Magnesium Products on May 2. Since that morning, the company scrambled to resume production of parts at the facility. Ford expects to make up the lost production and the supply to consumers was never impacted, officials noted.

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The fire, which occurred in the early morning hours, halted production at the two Ford sites as well as at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama, General Motors’s full-size van plant near St. Louis and Fiat Chrysler adjusted the run rate of its minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir

Luxurious interior, leading-edge tech and great road manners.

by on May.18, 2018

The 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir is based on an all-new version of the three-row SUV.

Utility vehicles of various sizes but similar shapes now account for nearly half of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. and the competition is getting fierce carmakers admit.

Notions of luxury have evolved during the years right along with SUVs but one vehicle holding its own is the stylish Buick Enclave Avenir with its gorgeous interior, portfolio of optional technology and pleasant road manners that fit nicely into the American tradition of upscale vehicles.

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The exterior of the 2018 Enclave has a stately aura about it that makes a careful bow to the brand’s historic tradition with a careful display of sleek lines and jeweled corners and at the very same time it moves the vehicle into the 21st century with its 21st century silhouette. The front grille and fascia is not ostentatious and the rear is equally restrained but nicely set off by the lighting display. (more…)

Volvo Cutting Diesel Engines from Portfolio

Company plans to move to just gas and electric only.

by on May.18, 2018

The Volvo S60 will be the first sedan from the automaker that is offered without a diesel powerplant as an option.

Volvo Cars is implementing plans to stop offering diesel engines in its future vehicles.

The company announced this week the new Volvo S60 sedan – to be launched later this spring – will be the first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine. The decision to eliminate a diesel engine on a model that will be sold worldwide highlights Volvo Cars’ “commitment to a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine,” the company said.

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“Our future is electric and we will no longer develop a new generation of diesel engines,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.  (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Restarting SUV Production in Alabama

Maker one of four impacted by fire at Michigan-based Meridian plant.

by on May.18, 2018

Mercedes-Benz officials said its SUV plant in Alabama will resume operations next week.

Mercedes-Benz said it expects to resume production of sport utility vehicles at its assembly plant in Alabama next week.

“We have worked with our supply base to reestablish part flow and we anticipate getting the first round of parts next week to slowly begin ramping up SUV production operations.

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“We are optimistic that as we go forward we will be able to add more production – gradually getting back to our normal production operations,” Felyicia Jerald, spokeswoman for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International said in an e-mail to AFP. (more…)

Ford Offers New Waze to Help Drivers Deal with Traffic

Traffic app being integrated into Sync 3

by on May.17, 2018

Ford Motor Co. now has Waze available for navigation for use through Sync 3.

Millions of Ford customers have purchased vehicles with built-in navigation technology, and the latest versions often come with the ability to show where traffic is backed up. But the Metro Detroit-based automaker plans to take things a step further.

Owners will now be able to access the Waze app through Ford’s Sync infotainment system. Waze, which was developed in Israel and then purchased by Google for $1.3 billion in 2013, goes beyond traditional navigation programs. It offers up routes that are designed to specifically avoid traffic, often detouring off clogged freeways and main arteries onto back roads and through residential neighborhoods.

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There is a caveat, however. First shown at the Consumer Electronics Show last winter, the feature will only be able to work on Ford vehicles with the carmaker’s latest infotainment system, Sync 3. And, at least initially, it will only be available for those with an Apple iPhone using a relatively recent operating system, iOS 11.3 or later. (more…)

Tesla Model S Was in Autopilot at Time of Crash

Driver repeatedly took hands off the wheel.

by on May.17, 2018

The NTSB is investigating a third crash involving a Tesla vehicle using Autopilot at the time of the collision.

A Tesla Model S sedan that crashed into the back of a fire truck in Utah last week was operating in semi-autonomous Autopilot mode, the battery-electric automaker has confirmed, though the company has also tried to shift blame to the 28-year-old driver by noting that she repeatedly took her hands off the wheel and admitted being distracted immediately before the crash occurred.

The incident is the latest in a series of accidents involving Tesla vehicles in the U.S. and abroad and could raise new concerns about the safety of the automaker’s products – especially those using Autopilot which Tesla CEO Elon Musk has hailed as a potentially life-saving feature.

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The latest crash occurred when a Model S slammed into a parked fire truck at around 60 mph. The female driver suffered a broken foot. She subsequently told authorities that she was driving in Autopilot mode. Tesla engineers on Wednesday accessed the vehicle’s black box and confirmed that statement, though they also revealed that the driver had taken her hands off the wheel for as much as 80 seconds immediately prior to the crash. (more…)

Ford Restarting F-150 Production on Friday

Production resumes ahead of internal projections.

by on May.16, 2018

Ford will resume production of the F-150 on Friday at the company's Dearborn, Michigan plant.

Ford Motor Co. plans to restart production of the F-150 on Friday after the two plants that build the trucks were idled for nearly two weeks following a parts shortage due to a fire at a supplier plant in Michigan.

The company’s plant in Dearborn, Michigan, which employs 4,000 people for F-150, will begin production on Friday. The 3,600 workers at the Kansas City, Missouri, plant will start on Monday. They are expected to run full production when they return, officials said.

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“While the situation remains extremely dynamic, our teams are focused on returning our plants to full production as fast as possible,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Global Operations. “The ramp-up time to full production is improving every day.” (more…)

Honda Kicks Off Production of Two New Models

Honda Insight, Acura RDX heading to dealers shortly.

by on May.16, 2018

Acura RDX production is underway at Honda's plant in Ohio.

Honda is celebrating the start of production of two new vehicle this the all-new 2019 Honda Insight in Greensburg, Indiana, and the 2019 Acura RDX at its plant in East Liberty, Ohio.

The 2019 Acura RDX is described as the first in a new generation of Acura products built around Acura’s “Precision Crafted Performance” brand direction. The new RDX was a clean-sheet, top-to-bottom redesign of Acura’s perennial top-selling five-passenger luxury SUV, brought to life through new capital investment of $54 million in new technologies and processes at the East Liberty Auto Plant.

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“This new RDX defines the future of Acura, and our Ohio team did an incredible job preparing this first in a new generation of Acura vehicles for our customers,” said Jim Hefner, plant manager at the East Liberty Auto Plant. (more…)